After a slow start, acquisitions at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the key dates in the diary for the independent film world, continue to gather apace. Following on from "A Place Beyond The Pines," "Stories We Tell," "Lords of Salem," "Imogene," "The Unknown Known" and various others, three other high-profile pictures landed a home today.
First up is Neil Jordan's "Byzantium," a return to the kind of gothic tale that made the Irish director's name, and his first vampire movie since the 1994 hit "Interview With A Vampire." Unfortunately, our review didn't think that the film, which stars Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Daniel Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonny Lee Miller and Sam Riley, had much to add to the genre, but IFC would beg to disagree, as Deadline reports the company has acquired the film for a hefty seven-figure sum. They've made a habit of late of using VOD and other multi-platform strategies in a big way, but apparently these film will be an exception to the rule, leading out theatrically and aiming to make it to a few hundred screens. No word on a release date yet.
Meanwhile, we weren't massive fans of sex-addiction rom-com "Thanks For Sharing" either, despite it being the directorial debut of "The Kids Are All Right" co-writer Stuart Blumberg, and featuring a cast including Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim Robbins. Still that star power has been enough, according to THR, to persuade Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions to pair, as they did on "Imogene," to acquire the film, for an undisclosed sum. Both will land sometime in 2013, putting them out of Oscar consideration (there'd been some talk of Annette Bening in the latter being a possibility).
Finally, and not a TIFF film, Deadline reports that Wrekin Hill ("The Flowers Of Hall") has acquired Australian surfing drama "Drift," again for a 2013 release. Following the story of two brothers who start a surf line together, only to come into conflict with local drug dealers, the picture stars homecoming hero Sam Worthington, of "Avatar" and "Clash Of The Titans" fame, along with rising star Xavier Samuel ("The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"). The film should make it to theaters in early 2013, meaning it'll be beaten to the punch by Gerard Butler surfing picture "Chasing Mavericks" by a few months. A number of big titles remain up for grabs, including "Frances Ha," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Passion" and "To The Wonder," so stay tuned for more acquisitions news.